How to Ensure Your Parking Lot is Accessible

How to Ensure Your Parking Lot is Accessible


The introduction of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990 made it illegal for disabled people to be discriminated against. It also set out requirements for employers to provide specific accommodations for employees and for all public accommodations to become accessible. This means that all parking lots must now be ADA compliant. But in many states, the laws in terms of accessible parking go further and it is not enough for a parking lot to simply meet the ADA requirements. If your business has a parking lot used by staff or the public, it must meet state laws as well.

How to Make Your Parking Lot ADA Compliant

The most important thing to bear in mind when making your parking lot ADA compliantis that all accessible parking spaces should be located within the shortest route to the building. In other words, these spaces must be situated where the user will have the easiest access to the building’s entrance, rather than being the closest to the building.

The number of accessible spaces your parking lot should have will depend on the overall number of parking spaces in the lot. For example, parking lots with less than 25 parking spaces must have at least one accessible space. Even if your lot only has one parking space, it needs to be accessible. As the parking lot increases in size, another accessible space must be provided for every 25 spaces.

If your parking lot has between 501 and 1,000 spaces, 2 percent of the spaces must be accessible. For parking lots with more than 1,000 spaces, there must be 20 spaces, plus another one for every 100 spaces over 1,000. One out of every six accessible spaces must be van accessible. And even if the lot is required to have just one accessible space, it must be accessible for vans.

Van-accessible spaces must be 8 feet wide and have an 8-foot access aisle beside it. For cars, the access aisle need only be 5 feet wide, but the space should still be 8 feet wide. Access aisles can be shared between two spaces.

According to the experts at Parking Lot Pros, it is also important to ensure that all parking surfaces are firm, slip-resistant, and stable. Whether you have concrete or asphalt paving in your parking lot, there should be no changes in level and a slope of no more than 1:48 inch.

Although not mandatory, it is recommended that accessible routes not be placed to the rear of parked vehicles. However, should the accessible route be placed behind parked vehicles, the route must be clearly marked with a stark contrasting paint. The color of paint used is not specified by the ADA, but in some statesthere may be a requirement to use a specific color.

It is important that each accessible space be clearly marked with signage (unless the parking lot has fewer than four spaces in total). Each space should have its own sign placed a minimum of 5 feet above the parking space. The signs should be marked with the international accessibility symbol.

If your parking area is used specifically by delivery vehicles or buses, the ADA accessibility rules do not apply. Furthermore, for hospital parking lotsthe standards are different, with a minimum of 10 percent of spaces required to be accessible.


When it comes to parking lots, it is important to ensure that they meet the standards set down by the ADA. Additionally, some states have laws that go further than the ADA requirements for accessibility. It is important therefore to ensure that your parking lot meets all codes and requirements.

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